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By Juliegrace Brufke
GOP Reps. Ted Budd of North Carolina and Mark Sanford of South Carolina introduced a bill Wednesday to assure taxpayer dollars aren’t allocated to causes that could potentially fund terrorism.
The move follows President Barack Obama authoring a $221 million payment to the Palestinian Authority in his final hours in office despite Republican lawmakers’ concerns the aid could end up in the wrong hands. President Donald Trump froze the payments shortly after taking office.
“Although our current law allows reductions in aid to the Palestinian Authority based on the amount of payments they make to terrorists and their families, they’ve found a way around this by giving to third-party organizations – like the Palestinian Liberation Organization,” Budd said in a statement, adding its their responsibility to make sure federal dollars aren’t indirectly rewarding acts of terror.
The legislation — titled the No Bonuses For Terrorist Act – would require the secretary of State to certify to members of Congress that the Palestinian Authority and Palestinian Liberation Organization terminated providing funds to terrorists. In the case the secretary is unable to confirm the funds have been ceased, the money would be redirected to Israel’s Iron Dome system.
Sanford slammed Obama’s last-minute transfer, arguing passing the bill should be common sense.
“To me, this is unacceptable,” he said in a statement. “When the American people support other nations, our generosity shouldn’t be used to support terrorism in any way. And pausing these funds until we’re certain they aren’t being used as such seems like an obvious response to the problem.”
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